07 February 2017

Sevenoaks Youth Council visit the Houses of Parliament

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On Monday 30 February, myself and the 15 other members of the town council, including; Daniel Izu (Chairman of the Council), Malcolm Briery (Vice Chairman), Elise Van Den Hoek, Zak Young, Katie Willis and Phoebe Critchlow from Sevenoaks, made a trip to the Houses of Parliament to tour the Houses and to meet with MP for Sevenoaks and Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon. The visit was incredible, the tour of the Houses was fascinating, and a highly valuable experience to all, especially in discovering how the United Kingdom is governed. In particular some of the more unusual details we learnt about the traditions of the government, were extremely interesting, including the fact that it is forbidden for the Sovereign to step foot into the House of Commons and how no Monarch has done so for more than 300 years. Our tour guide was very engaging, and made learning about the ins and outs of government an incredibly enjoyable experience. The meeting with Michael Fallon was mesmerising, and a true once in a lifetime opportunity. The meeting took place in the House of the Commons immediately prior to Sir Michael’s statement in the Chamber in his role as Secretary of State for Defence. His detailed and highly professional responses to our questions; which ranged from his stance on a diverse set of current international issues such as; nuclear disarmament, Brexit, President Trump, the immigration ban on Muslim majority countries and Russia, especially the implications of the Kiev Agreement, were captivating, and made for an incredible experience. It was an honour and a privilege to see him work, especially at such a controversial time, and we are extremely grateful that he was willing to give up his time to allow us to meet with him and discuss such pressing issues. His professional insights into some of the most radical situations facing humanity in recent years, has unquestionably broadened my outlook on the World as we move further into 2017 where these issues will only continue to develop.

James Armitage

On Monday 30 January, the Sevenoaks Youth council was invited to the Houses of Parliament to visit Sir Michael Fallon – Secretary of State of Defence, as well as Member of Parliament for the Sevenoaks Constituency. An insightful and informative tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords was given to the youth councillors, which ended with an interactive session with Sir Michael. Members of the Sevenoaks youth council include youth councillors: Daniel Izu, Malcom Briery, James Armitage, Elise Van de Hoek, Zak Young, Katie Willis, Phoebe Crichlow. Sir Michael Fallon elaborated on the United Kingdom’s standpoint on issues of defence such as: NATO Alliance and Nuclear Disarmament, as well as other issues like Brexit. Before leaving, the youth councillors had the opportunity to briefly watch the House of Commons sit, where questions were addressed to the Sir Michael Fallon – on issues which are not dissimilar to those raised by the youth councillors. 

Daniel Izu

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